Undergraduate Mentor Program Welcomes New Leadership

  • mentor program leadership
    Economics mentor program leadership, from left: Olga Yang, Kerry Kahl, Dimitri Perera, Martina Ji.

The Department of Economics is delighted to welcome the new leadership team for the Undergraduate Mentorship Program 2016-2017 academic year: Olga Yang, Kerry Kahl, Dimitri Perera, and Martina Ji. We extend our sincere thanks to program founder and Chair Emeritus Walt Zabriskie, BA '71, who stepped down this spring after leading the program for more than five years. 

Taking the program forward, this team of committed alumni mentors will work together on initiatives and resources for our community of mentors and students:

Olga Yang began her career as a commercial insurance underwriter just after graduating from UW Economics in 1982 and has worked in the industry ever since. Olga was chair of the Economics Visiting Committee from 2008—2010 and is a member of the executive committee. She is a member of the Economics Outreach Committee, chairs the regional representative program, and has been a mentor since the pilot program in 2011. In 1988, Olga established the Yanlan and Robert Yang Endowed Scholarship, named after her parents, to support undergraduate students in economics.

Kerry Kahl graduated from UW Economics in 1973 and has been working at the University ever since. He is Senior Director of Technology Compliance with UW-IT and earned his MBA in finance/administration at the Foster School of Business in 1983. Kerry established the Clifford and Wanda Kahl Student Support Fund in Economics in 2013 in honor of his parents and has been involved with the mentorship program since 2012.

Martina Ji graduated from UW with distinction in Economics and a minor in French in 2012. She joined KPMG LLP in Seattle after graduation and is currently a Senior Associate in Management Consulting. She has worked on projects in Seattle and New York City in both IT and utilities industries with a primary focus on process improvement. During her senior year at UW, she  served on the Economics Undergraduate Board and was one of the first students to participate in the Economics Mentor Program.

Dimitri Perera studied Economics at UW with a concentration in international economics, graduating in 2008. Over the last year, Dimitri has worked with the local Seattle advertising agency copacino+fujikado, working on a number of strategic branding and advertising projects for local companies, such as Holland America Line. Recently, his roles and responsibilities have shifted to include oversight of the digital production department within the agency. Prior to copacino+fujikado, Dimitri worked as a Marketing Project Manager for the mobile analytics company TUNE, where he developed and implemented processes to streamline the marketing and creative teams. Originally from Los Angeles, California, Dimitri has called Seattle home for twelve years.

The undergraduate mentorship program links undergraduate economics students with volunteer mentors in order to enable students to develop life and career skills through the guidance of seasoned professionals. Alumni and students interested in participating in the 2016-2017 mentorship program are encouraged to reach out to the mentor leadership team. Their contact info is available here. 

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